Screenplay, Laurent, Philippe Arnaud, Andre Techine. Camera (color), Jeanne Lapoirie; editor, Rodolfo Wedeles; music, Jorge Arriagada; art direction, Ze Branco; sound, Fabian Olivier. Reviewed at Locarno Film Festival (competing), Aug. 10, 1997. (Also in Montreal Film Festival.) Running time: 111 MIN.
Laure Constant ….. Laurence Cote
Nato ….. Joaquim Olarreaga
O’Nety ….. Hector Spinelli
Colossus ….. Jose Olivera
Canasta ….. Evelyne Didi
With: Luis Miguel Cintra, Monique Melinand.
Backed again by her regular producer, Paulo Branco, former set designer and more recent Jacques Rivette script collaborator Christine Laurent comes up with another metaphysical brain-teaser in “Transatlantique.” This highly Gallic reverie, about a French femme searching for her lost lover in Uruguay, is strictly for the faithful.
Laurence Cote plays a French singer who travels to Montevideo to meet Colossus (Jose Olivera), whom she hasn’t seen for a year. When Colossus doesn’t show up, she becomes entangled with various other men, including theatrical impresario O’Nety (Hector Spinelli), who looks like he’s just stepped out “Last Year in Marienbad,” and young boxer Nato (Joaquim Olarreaga), with whom she eventually tangos. Two older French women, costume designers, offer her advice at various points.
The entire cast, including the cute but wooden Cote, act as if they’re giving line readings rather than performances, and the pic oozes faded South American atmosphere and lost-in-Latinoland angst. As in Laurent’s previous pics (“Vertiges,” “Eden Miseria”), visual design is strong and the script, on which Andre Techine collaborated, arty fluff that just sits there.